Don’t leave home without it

The senior citizens may be thinking of their pioneer generation cards as the most precious item to be carried along wherever they go. The young may be thinking of their credit cards or their latest mobile phones. This phrase of ‘don’t leave home without it’ has taken on a new meaning.

Last night we witnessed the most serious MRT breakdown when the two main lines, North South and East West went down at the same time at evening peak hours. The frustration and anger and the increasing perception of an unreliable public transport system are getting to the nerves of the commuters. Despite so many assurance and compliments of how well the SMRT has done, how much money has been invested to improve the system, the breakdowns are not going to stop and are getting more serious. The image that comes to many people’s mind is the 6.9m or 10m population that the people have been daily prepared for.

Now with this crippling failure of a public transport system that commuters had taken for granted for the last 3 decades and now seeing breakdowns as a new normal, would there be a rethink about our ability to live with a population more than the present 5.4m? Are we up to it or just trying to psyche ourselves that we can do it when the incidents of breakdown are saying otherwise?

Lui Tuck Yew must have run out of expletives to apologise to the people on every breakdown. He might as well have a pre recorded speech to broadcast inside the train whenever a breakdown occurs. And he should also set up a permanent Committee of Inquiry to investigate on train breakdowns with such frequencies.

As for the commuters, they must be prepared for it as well. Forget about the free bus services when a break down occurs. They are not prepared for it, badly organized and too little to cope with the huge numbers of commuters needing to be dispersed as quickly as they could. How many buses would be needed to move the commuters? And how many commuters know how the free bus service system works? The MRT staff is just as good as blur about the bus service and they have great problems handling the crowd.

What is the best solution? It may be a good idea for every commuter to carry a folding bike with them. This is going to be the most effective and reliable tool to cope with the train breakdowns. They can simply unfold the bikes and zip away quickly.  And with the Singapore Made Aleoca bikes at very affordable prices, it should not be too much of a strain on the pockets.  For the richer Singaporeans, they can flaunt their Brompton bikes in the train to show that they are of a different commuter class, carrying the Rolls Royce of folding bikes in the train.

Yes, don’t leave home without it. You will need it more frequently than you think. And it will help the MRT to manage the crowding problems in the stations. And no need to be so blur and lost on which free bus to take. We need to help ourselves and help the MRT. It is our responsibility and our problem to take care of ourselves than to add to the mess and jams at the stations.

But before you go and grab that folding bike, check with MRT which models are acceptable. I know the Brompton model is definitely ok, but not all folding bikes can be lugged into the train. You will be stopped by the MRT staff if the bike does not meet their criteria. Maybe Lui Tuck Yew may want to offer some vouchers to the commuters to buy the folding bikes. Or maybe some kind of subsidies as the commuters are trying to help MRT with the breakdown and crowding problems. Or MRT may want to go into selling folding bikes business as this is an important tool needed by commuters now.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Why is Minister of Transport apologising to the commuters and not the CEO of SMRT??? Is it because the 1 Star must do the dirty work of 3 Stars General? This is getting very ridiculous. Its like a Father keep on apologising for the mistakes of his son. How to have confident in case of crisis?

Anonymous said...

Why like that lah?

Why like that lah?

First World Status?

Sad! Very Sad! Very Very Sad!

Anonymous said...

Quite easy to earn millions. Just get angry, show concern, apologise, ask the MRT to get it working quickly, call for inquiry. QED.

'Chui kong lan par song'

Anonymous said...

RB, your folding bike idea cannot work also as walkways will be congested and riding on the road will be dangerous. You may never reach home in one piece. No choice but to wait for alternatives provided.....

Anonymous said...

Aleoca must take up RB's suggestion, design new bikes that can be allowed in the trains and sell them as a public service to the nation, with some profits also lah.

Another good idea for SG50. MRT subsidise the cost of the bikes, commuters pay half, MRT pays half. A win win win solution. MRT happy, commuters happy, Aleoca lagi happy.

Anonymous said...

In hokkien we say last night mrt breakdown as....

"Very Eat Strenght"!

Yes! "Very Eat Strenght"!

6,900,000 population? 10,000,000 population?

Pls dream on...................

Anger not! Anger not!


Anonymous said...

250,000 new potential Opposition voters?
I fully support all past and future salary increases for CEO Desmond Kuek.

Anonymous said...

I hope agongkia was stuck in the MRT last night.

Anonymous said...

Shall we set up a Permanent Standing Committee of Inquiry for MRT Breakdowns?

agongkia said...

Nothing unusual for train to break down n it is only unusual if it dun.
Think of the benefits of such breakdowns .Having breakdown often can train us to be prepared for emergency and practices make perfect.The more breakdown mean more practices for emergency that can be useful to prepare citizen like handling emergency at their workplace.
See? Uncle can even contribute good idea of bringing bike along when travel.Such thought will not come to his mind if there is no breakdown.

Breakdown oso mean its a good excuse to be late for work and becos its normal, employer will no longer doubt employees lateless when excuses of breakdown is given as example.Its good for worker like me.
Life is too dull.Once a while having breakdown n have a change of stressful lifestyle may be good for health.

Maybe its not breakdown. It could be a routine practice to see how citizen are prepared for emergency. Its done in good faith.
No need spend money on bike just for such case.
Get a bike and cycle to work will be a better idea.

agongkia said...

Anon 9.39
alamak.no chance to experience it so far.best is to get stuck in a cabin surrounded with many sweet n panicky charbors n chiobus.

Anonymous said...

agree. SMRT should diversify into the bicycle business rather than the telco business.
I'm buying more SMRT shares today.
I anticipate another billion dollar grant from the PAP government to supplement the earlier billion dollar grant for SMRT.
Do you think my SMRT dividends is guaranteed?
Huat ah!

Anonymous said...

Ya mb this super gong is right, is done on purpose. Remember SG50? To gong beyond hope, anything is possible including intentional peak hours train breakdown to "celebrate" SG50? Way to go ......... back to the 3rd world by the 3rd generation from you 1st world by the 1st generation. ......

Anonymous said...

Imagine the red face on SG50 7 Aug to 10 Aug celebration when the trains breakdown messively like yesterday evening during peak hours and the mEssive chaos of the bus service?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I will be worried if there is no breakdowns.

Anonymous said...

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. And expecting a different result."
- I always vote PAP.

Anonymous said...

MOT Messily Organised Tucksport

Anonymous said...

Fuck lah, just follow the fucking blue-collar foreign workers lah. The best solution is to house all employees in dormitories next to their office buildings. Like that no need to waste time & money travelling, no more downtime due to MRT cockups. So productive right?!? Nah beh.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9.59am pls note.......

fear not fear not.........

if mrt breakdown on national day.......

everyone got caught by the mrt breakdown will be given a hand-held flag
at the mrt stations......

they will then sing the national day songs together at mrt stations.....

in this way, "one-stone-kills-two-birds" lah........

we will make full use of mrt breakdown....


ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

This is the crux of redbean's "logic":

1. MRT N-S E-W Lines breakdown---epic failure

2. We have 5.4 million population

3. MRT lines breaking down is catastrophic failure for a population of 5.4 million

Conclusion: therefore we cannot handle and thus should not have a larger population.

According to "redbean logic", let's stay at 5.4 million population so that the MRT failures don't lead to a worse situation. 5.4 million people with frequently breaking down trains....ok lah, can adapt.

What the fuck? Redbean is dead set against INCREASING the population to a sensible level to achieve growth, so he crafts his arguments to suit his already embedded "conclusion".

Thank the gods (which don't exist) that redbean is not a govt consultant :-))

Anyway, the way I see it is that Singapore public transport (like all public transports) eventually end up sucking dead dog's balls because they lack redundant systems.

Those MRT lines are OLD. They've been worked hard and carry the most passengers. They need a COMPLETE REVAMP and not just "UPGRADE", but total replacement of parts. Power supply the problem? Then REPLACE the entire power supply and the control hardware and software.

If the Singapore government is SERIOUS about increasing the population size to "awesome metropolis" levels, it must have REDUNDANCY in place, because something BIG will go wrong sooner or later.

Redundancy is EXPENSIVE. Instead of trying to be "all things to all people" and offering "free rides", SMRT should stop fucking around and start charging fares based on the REALITY of running an enterprise which must SPEND on maintenance and INVEST in redundant systems. MRT FARES ARE TOO CHEAP!!

Redundancy will probably be buses. These buses should run the SAME ROUTES as N-S and E-W lines. Since buses take less passengers than trains, the bus frequency must be SHORT (every 3 minutes or less for e.g.) or you are going to get "back logged" with irate and outraged passengers.

There will be a lot of buses running and stopping along the N-S and E-W routes taken by road. Thus private vehicles along these routes will have to be "discouraged", which can easily be done by doubling or tripling the ERP charges, or if necessary, close off some of the roads used by MRT-route buses.

There is no "easy pain-free" way out of this mess. If you are going to have millions of people crammed into a small island, you will need efficient transport systems---public and private. Otherwise it will be a cluster fucking disaster.

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
patriot said...

And there is always money making opportunity for the Pappies.
COEs for bicycles.
Possible? If not bicycle parking fees.




ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

@ correction, RB:

>> And with the Singapore Made Aleoca bikes at very affordable prices <<

Smokin' awesome Singapore company lah. Assembled in Singapore (by lots of cheaper foreign labour), but mostly MADE IN CHINA.

You get what you pay for lah.

Anonymous said...

Rb, u call IMH already? AY is not insane but kena send there. U have at least one running amok ........ everyday. ....... Cannot remember his internet moniker ...... think got some "Geelah" sound sthg like that ......... anybolee know how his moniker spelt?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

A mad man and his 'sensible' verbal diarrhoea. The only sensible thing he said is to change the whole MRT line and system. Then everyone can make more money.

If the trains do not break down, then the trains are underworked.

Call the IMH quick.

Anonymous said...

Where got problem?

Just change yr mindset lah!

Breakdown = Normal

Zero Breakdown = Not Normal

Once you changed yr mindset, everything is fine!

It is that very very simple.


Anonymous said...

S(inkieland) M(essy) R(otten) T(uckSICK)

Anonymous said...

Daddy! Daddy!
My toy train breakdown again today.
Daddy! Daddy!
My toy General say he don't know how to fix my toy train.
Daddy! Daddy!
How ah?

Daddy! Daddy!
Like this how to promote myself to become Senior Minister ah?
Daddy! Daddy!
I don't like my job anymore.

Anonymous said...

If you think the mrt train meltdown is bad.
Wait until our PAP Generals start building a nuclear power plant in Singapore.
Then we will face a possible nuclear meltdown.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the kind of consumer products that break down after just around 2 to 3 years or so, it does not surprise me that the MRT system breakdowns are so frequent and getting more serious.

The older lines were able to run for 2 decades with minor hitches. The newer lines and the replacement parts for the older lines are going to cause plenty of trouble as the lines gets more complicated. We will have to live with it now that there is way we can do without it.

But, thankfully, Sinkies are tolerant and will get used to breakdowns daily without complaints.

b said...

CEO : must create some breakdowns so can get more money from stupid taxpayers via the stupid gov and then pay more dividends to the shareholders and more salary to myself. in this era, does not pay to work quietly and make sure thing works. creating choatic situation is the best and fastest way to show how important a person i am.

Anonymous said...

Ah Lui! Ah Lui!
Train breakdown today.
Ah Lui! Ah Lui!
Got another $1 billion or not.
I need to buy another new train.
Does my higher salary help to benchmark the Millionaires' salaries higher?
Is this called a virtuous cycle?